Was 2017 A Year Of Mistakes?

EDITOR, The Tribune.

WAS the choice of a new Government on May 10, on one part a massive relief vanquishing the PLP and Rt Hon Perry Christie but on the other hand electing a party whose leader just did not have the leadership qualities or plans needed?

I, more so than ever, remind myself of the decision of Hon Loretta-Butler Turner, Richard Lightbourne, Hubert Chipman, Theo Neely when they declared they had no confidence in now Dr Hon Hubert Minnis. They seem to have been right!

May 2017 is now along time ago - the FNM massive majority Government’s honeymoon is over and what do we see - what do we hear? Eternal silence!

There is no leadership - there is now open public discontent of ministers clearly showing the syndrome that Loretta Butler-Turner experienced has not changed and we could in 2018 easily be heading into a Constitutional crisis as a result.

So the Minnis plan to bring jobs is seemingly anchored on those Bahamians who decided it is better not in The Bahamas? Did I hear him correctly that investors will not be permitted to choose their own, trusted consultants? Sorry Sir, whoever is advising you on that has not a clue. Investors will only come with their own trusted advisers.

Bahamas Investment Authority - one thing for sure it has zero authority except it could be a ‘processing Agency’ - their decisions are not supported by Bahamian law.

I said it before but it needs to be repeated all Heads of Agreement from Kerzner time under Ingraham to now are not valid and not supported by Law with one exception, ironically, the final one Christie signed with EXIM China on Baha Mar. The most favoured nation clause so spoken on casinos that Kerzner is alleged to have is total rubbish and unsupported by Law; we can have as many Casinos in Nassau·as applied for and supported by policy.....no limits.

BEST Commission - another processing Agency with zero legal authority.

National Economic Council - another processing agency which cannot under Law make decisions or grant any concessions. It has no legal standing. Here it has to be understood if the NEC is the authority that has been approving Investments, it calls into question whether any or all of the economic concessions and incentives where you are guaranteed not to be liable to present and future Taxes have any legal standing? They don’t. How this passed the eagle eye of our local attorneys is beyond me.

The Prime Minister says The Bahamas is open for business - great then show it. There is zero evidence to support that since May 10, Mr Prime Minister.

Is the Prime Minister trying to tell us there was no project/investments inherited from the Christie Government which, if he was sensible and business-conscious, should have been accelerated and processed and within three-months have announced some new job opportunities? The record shows there were no announcements except for the much fan fared cigarette project in Freeport. Hmm - Ministry of Health fighting to stop cancer as the Government is approving investments which are the primary means of getting cancer!

My diagnosis of where we are - which no public person will say and certainly the annual ‘waste of time’ Economic Forum presenters will not say - is that we are in deep do-do!

35,000+ unemployed a high percentage really unemployable - 5,000 leaving school annually - high crime rate - an over-populated Civil Service which drains the financial resources - massive debt everywhere - Electricity costs which are killing everyone.

The Enterprise Act is DOA... dead. The Investor has 12 months to train someone and then handover his investment to someone he got to know just 365 days ago! Dr Hon Minnis would not do that himself with his millions.

Was 2017 the year of mistakes?

I suspect so but possibly if the political gods are willing to listen (that’s a tall order) there is a small chance something might happen positively before December 31, 2018 - can’t guarantee it but it could.

Lastly migrants - by the time this is published December 31 will have passed will the Minnis Government do what they said or...?

The UN Human Rights Rapporteur shook the foundations of the Minnis Government to the extent the Minister responsible for Immigration stated loud and clear: We are a sovereign Nation we can do what we want. Mr Minister if you signed UN Conventions even if they are not supported by Bahamian law you are bound to uphold the Conventions, sovereign or not. Tread softly Mr Prime Minister, tread softly on this explosive issue. Blacking listing was bad, watch out.

Now the Izmirlian bomb-shell - a potential investor will have read the allegations, allegations that include alleged malpractice of the Government of The Bahamas (Occupancy Certification) - I suggest PM’s Bahamas “open for business” could well have had it’s door slammed shut at least ‘til the Izmirlian legal issues are resolved and allegations cleared.

Yes... we are in deep do-do and refuse to admit it - delusional thinking abounds - everything is still Red against Gold and Green - where is the leadership to finally pull us out of this mess?

Will the rank and file of the FNM in 2018 in Convention resolve this? I ask who is the alternative because we can’t continue ’til the next election with the current Prime Minister.



December 29, 2017.


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